Governing through Design is a collaborative research project that investigates how design impacts society. We use history and ethnography to develop new narratives of how the practices and epistemologies of design reconceive global politics and everyday lifeworlds, and invest in pedagogies that seek to intervene in contemporary practices of design.

We are an interdisciplinary collective of researchers based at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design, the University of Basel, and Concordia University Montréal, with backgrounds in design history, urban studies, media studies, anthropology, sociology, political science, and science & technology studies.


Project Lead

Claudia Mareis, Orit Halpern, Kenny Cupers


Our research is funded through a Sinergia grant, awarded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (2020–2024).

Website Design & Development
Website Editing

Maja Riegler


Governing through Design

Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis
University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
Academy of Art and Design
4002 Basel


for the works of art © 2021 the artists

for the texts © 2021 the authors


Data Protection

We place great importance on correct and up-to-date information on the state of the project through this website. Some or all of the content on our website may therefore need to be amended, deleted or (occasionally) no longer shown. We do not accept liability for any material or immaterial damage arising in connection with the use or non-use of the information offered, with the misuse of the connections or with technical faults.


Cookies are text files which are stored temporarily or permanently on your computer and which, for example, enable your use of the website to be analysed. You can partially or entirely prevent cookies from being stored on your computer by adjusting the corresponding settings in your browser application. However, please be aware that if you do so, you may no longer be able to use all of the functions on this website. We recommend using web browsers such as Firefox or Brave.


We do not verify the content of external websites or those beyond its domain, that is, sites that are linked to this website rather than hosted on its own servers. That is, we decline any responsibility for the content of external sites, and for the products and services offered on such sites. We will, however, take great care in linking to external content and do so only if necessary.


The structure of the website is protected by copyright. The complete or partial reproduction, transmission (electronically or by other means), modification, or use of the content and structure of the website for public or commercial purposes is strictly forbidden without prior written permission. Please contact the designer, Martin Wecke, for further information. Copyrights of texts is with the authors. You must give appropriate credit and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. In particular, You may not use the material for commercial purposes.